Depression is sometimes referred to as the “common cold of mental disorders.” This is because over the course of a lifetime, it has affected many people. Depression can overtake one’s life and become the only thing a person focuses on. Though it is classified as a mental disorder, many affected by depression describe the pain as physical. This physical pain is often too strong for people to handle, and the only method of alleviation becomes self-medication.
Self-medication of depression is a dangerous road to follow. This refers to the tendency of those suffering from depression to use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. The elated feelings the user gets from the drugs and alcohol welcome reprieve from the painful effects of depression. Soon, drugs and alcohol use become a daily habit as a means to keep the sorrow away. The pain is replaced by the artificial euphoria of the drugs and alcohol, paving the way for an extended period of dangerous chemical dependency.
In order to help someone suffering from depression, it is imperative to understand the symptoms and warning signs associated with it. Here are five different signs that you should be on the lookout for if you suspect a loved one of being depressed:
1. Depressed Mood
The first warning sign of depression is a depressed mood. This seems very elementary, but it can be difficult for people to pick up. Sadness can be attributed to many different causes, and more often than not, it’s linked to external events. Poor job performance, deteriorating relationships might cause someone to be sad. But people might not know that depression could actually be the cause of these external factors.
2. Lack of Interest
Everyone has his or her own interests. They might include reading, hiking, or having coffee with friends. Interest in these types of activities tend to diminish when depression takes over. Love for one’s hobbies begins to erode as apathy sets in.
3. Feelings of Worthlessness
A person’s self-esteem takes a hit when they become depressed. Their feeling of self-worth is lowered and their overall outlook is gloomy. The value they once added to their friends, family, and job now seems meaningless.
4. Poor Concentration
Along with loss of self-worth is poor concentration. With a lowered self-esteem and sense of worthlessness, it’s hard for people to concentrate. They ask themselves, “What’s the point?” This goes back to a lack of interest. It’s harder to concentrate when you no longer have any interest in the tasks at hand.
5. Thoughts of Death
Suicide is a serious concern with those who suffer from depression. Lacking interest in the world around them, feeling a sense of worthlessness and being chronically sad can weigh heavy on someone. If these feelings persist and are not addressed in some manner, it can lead to suicidal thoughts.
At Prominence Treatment Center we offer dual diagnosis therapy. This is when an individual suffers from more than one mental disorder. The most common occurrence of this is the combination of substance abuse and depression, like we outlined earlier. Because our non-12 step program focuses on treating the “why” of addiction, depression treatment is very important to us.
If you or someone you know is displaying any of these five warning signs of depression, please find help. If you have reason to believe that he or she might hurt them self, you should call 911 immediately. For those who have questions or need more information about addiction and depression, Prominence Treatment Center has representatives standing by to speak with you 24/7.